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Thorgal Le Barbare.jpg
Cover of Le Barbare (2002 Lombard Editions),
art by Grzegorz Rosiński
Created by Jean Van Hamme
Grzegorz Rosiński
Publication information
Publisher Lombard Editions (French)
Cinebook Ltd (English)
Lion Comics (Tamil)
FormatsOriginal material for the series has been published as a strip in the comics anthology(s) Tintin magazine and a set of graphic novels.
Original language French
Publication date 1977  – present
Title(s)See: Collected editions
The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Thorgal is a fantasy adventure Franco-Belgian comics series by Belgian writer Jean Van Hamme and Polish graphic artist Grzegorz Rosiński. Debuting in 1977, it has incorporated elements of Norse mythology, the legend of Atlantis as well as science fiction and horror.


In 2002, it was adapted as an adventure video game, Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis , by Cryo Interactive Entertainment.


The comic first appeared in serial form in Tintin magazine in 1977, with the story La Magicienne Trahie . [1] Originally a stand-alone 30-page project, its early success encouraged turning it into a longer series. [1]

It has subsequently been published in hardcover volumes by Le Lombard from 1980 on. Translations have appeared in among others, English, Dutch, German, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Norwegian and Greek. [2]

Covers for all albums are drawn by Rosiński, even for the spin-off albums which sometimes are drawn by other artists. [3]

Reception and significance

Thorgal is critically acclaimed and one of the most popular French language comics, with more than 11 million Thorgal books in print. [4] There are currently three ongoing successful spin-off series, in addition to the continuation of the main Thorgal series.

It has been called the most popular series published by Le Lombard. [1]

D. Aviva Rothschild in his 1995 book Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-length Comics praised the series, stating that it is "better than an American swords-and-sorcery comic" when it comes to both art and stories. Commenting on The Archers volume, Rothschild described it as "one of the finest pieces of heroic fantasy I have ever set my eyes on". [5]

The series has also been credited with popularizing the comics in Poland. [5]

Main characters

Thorgal Aegirsson, the main character of the series Thorgal-100x100.png
Thorgal Aegirsson, the main character of the series
Xargos (Tanatloc)
VilniaKahaniel de ValnorOlgavaVarth (Ogotai)HayneeGandalf the Mad
ManthorKriss de ValnorThorgal AegirssonAariciaBjorn Gandalfson
Aniel de ValnorJolanLouve

Other characters

Fictional character biography

After of being lost at sea, the ship of Viking leader Leif Haraldson suddenly finds its way home, guided by a mysterious light in the fog. To the superstitious Vikings, the light is seen as a sign from the gods. Once on shore, they find a sort of capsule, which appears to be the source of the mysterious light. Leif opens the capsule and finds a newborn baby boy. He names the child Thor-gal Aegirs-son, after Thor, the Norse God of Thunder, and Aegir, the ruler of the sea, because he considers Thorgal to be a gift from the Gods. Leif takes Thorgal under his care as his adoptive son.

As Thorgal grows up, he is curious about his origins and often ostracized by his peers for not being a "real" Viking. On his sixth birthday, Leif gives him two strange artifacts taken from the capsule he was found in. One is a jewel made from "the metal that doesn't exist". The jewel brings Thorgal on his first adventure, and binds his fate forever with that of Aaricia (his future wife). When Thorgal is twelve, the other gift prompts him to visit an old wiseman, who reveals to Thorgal his origins and true identity. He tells him that he's one of the last survivors of a group of technologically advanced space-farers who came to the planet in search of new energy sources. His people have great supernatural powers like changing the molecular composition of matter with their mind; powers that Thorgal himself seems not to have. Thorgal learns about his real parents and grandfather, and the events that preceded his birth. The old man decides to erase Thorgal's memory of their encounter and the knowledge he just learned, believing that it will be better for Thorgal to grow up as a "normal" Viking boy with no supernatural powers. Thorgal, however, continues to grow up as curious and conflicted about his true identity as ever.

Soon after this event Leif Haraldson dies and Gandalf the Mad is chosen as his successor. Gandalf repeatedly tries to get rid of Thorgal, because -– as he constantly reminds everyone – Thorgal is an outsider and not of Viking blood. In reality, Gandalf feels threatened because Thorgal is Leif's heir. In the meantime, Thorgal's relationship with Aaricia, Gandalf's daughter, develops and strengthens. While her wishes do not have much influence on her father, she is able to save Thorgal from certain death (by her father's hand) through her determination and ingenuity.

The first album of the series starts some years later, when Thorgal is already an adult, and Gandalf devises a plan to kill him after realizing how deep the love his daughter has for Thorgal really is.

Collected French language editions

The albums consist of several story arcs and many stand-alone stories.

Mainline series

Jean Van Hamme (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)


The 29th volume, The Sacrifice, was the final volume scripted by Jean Van Hamme. Here, Thorgal escapes the curse of Odin. He finds peace in the only home he knows: the Viking village of his adopted father, but then must make a choice.

Danish translation of the series appeared in a different order, beginning with the chronicles of Thorgal's youth. [6] The first album in the series La Magicienne Trahie is number 22 in the Danish series. [6]

In Denmark numbers 22-23 (#1-2) were first published by the publisher Interpresse under the name "Cormak", probably to capitalize upon the popular series Conan .[ citation needed ] The name was soon changed back to "Thorgal" when Carlsen Comics took over the series. [6] [7]

Yves Sente (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)


Following the 29th volume, the series was written by Yves Sente. These albums initially focussed on Jolan rather than Thorgal.

Xavier Dorison (story) and Grzegorz Rosiński (art)

Yann (story) and Grzegorz Rosinski (art)

Yann (story) and Fred Vignaux (art)

Les Mondes de Thorgal - Kriss de Valnor ("The Worlds of Thorgal – Kriss of Valnor")

Yves Sente (story) and Giulio De Vita (art)

Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Mariolle (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Mariolle (story) and Fred Vignaux (art)

Spin-off Les Mondes de Thorgal - Louve (Thorgal - Wolf)

Yann Le Pennetier (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Spin-off Les Mondes de Thorgal - La Jeunesse de Thorgal (Thorgal - The Youth of Thorgal)

Yann Le Pennetier (story) and Roman Surzhenko (art)

Supplementary print publications [8]

English releases

All English-language Thorgal album releases have to date adhered to the approximately standard European A4-format, a book format US and UK readerships have historically not been accustomed to, they instead being born and bred with the much smaller, standard US comic book format. The closest format resembling the European one US and UK readership are traditionally familiar with is that of the US graphic novel format, though it too is somewhat smaller.

Donning Company Publishers (US) had the earliest three English-language titles published in the 1980s

  1. Thorgal, Child of the Stars hardcover was published in 1986 with ISBN   0-89865-501-3
  2. The Archers hardcover was published in 1987 with ISBN   0-96178-850-X (a softcover version was a year later published under the company's "Schiffer Pub" imprint with ISBN   0-96178-852-6
  3. The Sorceress Betrayed a 96 page softcover omnibus collecting the series' first two volumes La Magicienne Trahie and L'Ile des Mers gelées, was published in 1988 with ISBN   0-96178-851-8 under the company's "Ink Publishing Company" imprint

Cinebook Ltd (UK) released the English-language (main) series up until volume 24 [9] in the softcover print format starting with Child of the Stars and Aaricia in 2007. Europe Comics, partnered with Cinebook along with other publishers, took over the English language publications following their formation in 2015 and released the main series (including rereleases of older titles) plus the spin-off series in digital format only. [10] They started in 2019 with the digital release of the main series, starting with volume 21 which was as the only one released under the same ISBN for both formats. With volume 22 digital releases had from 2020 onward overtaken Cinebook's print releases, which from then on was lagging far behind with their print releases, aside from the circumstance that Cinebook did none of the spin-off series.

Mainline series

note: Where two ISBNs are mentioned, the first one concerns the digital release whereas the second one concerns the print release by Cinebook.

0. The Betrayed Sorceress ( ISBN   9781849184434) - Collects La Magicienne Trahie and L'Ile des Mers gelées [1 and 2])

  1. Child of the Stars ( ISBN   9781905460236) - (collects Child of the Stars and Aaricia [7 and 14])
  2. The Three Elders of Aran ( ISBN   9781905460311) - (collects The Three Elders of Aran and The Black Galley [3 and 4])
  3. Beyond the Shadows ( ISBN   9781905460458) - (collects Beyond the Shadows and The Fall of Brek Zarith [5 and 6])
  4. The Archers ( ISBN   9781905460670) - (collects Alinoë and Les Archers [8 and 9])
  5. The Land of Qa ( ISBN   9781905460809) - (collects Le Pays Qâ and Les Yeux de Tanatloc [10 and 11])
  6. City of the Lost God ( ISBN   9781849180016) - (collects La Cité du Dieu Perdu and Entre Terre et Lumière [12 and 13])
  7. The Master of the Mountains ( ISBN   9781849180238) - (contains Le Maître des Montagnes [15])
  8. Wolf Cub ( ISBN   9781849180351) - (contains Louve [16])
  9. The Guardian of the Keys ( ISBN   9781849180504) - (contains La Gardienne des Clés [17])
  10. The Sun Sword ( ISBN   9781849180573) - (contains L'épée-soleil [18])
  11. The Invisible Fortress ( ISBN   9781849181037) - (contains La Forteresse Invisible [19])
  12. The Brand of the Exiles ( ISBN   9781849181365) - (contains La Marque des Bannis [20])
  13. Ogotai's Crown ( ISBN   9781849181426) - (contains La Couronne d'Ogotaï [21])
  14. Giants ( ISBN   9781849181563) - (Contains Géants [22])
  15. The Cage ( ISBN   9781849181860) - (Contains La Cage [23])
  16. Arachnea ( ISBN   9781849182478) - (Contains Arachnéa [24])
  17. The Blue Plague ( ISBN   9781849182904) - (Contains The Blue Plague [25])
  18. The Kingdom Beneath the Sand ( ISBN   9781849183451) - (Contains The Kingdom Beneath the Sand [26])
  19. The Barbarian ( ISBN   9781849183994) - (Contains The Barbarian [27])
  20. Kriss of Valnor ( ISBN   9781849184229) - (Contains Kriss de Valnor [28])
  21. The Sacrifice ( ISBN   9781849184267) - (Contains Le Sacrifice [29])
  22. I, Jolan ( ISBN   9791032807309 , 9781849184441) - (Contains Moi, Jolan [30])
  23. Thor's Shield ( ISBN   9791032807835 , 9781849184458) - (Contains Le Bouclier de Thor [31])
  24. The Battle of Asgard ( ISBN   9791032809181 , 9781849184946 - (Contains La Bataille D'Asgard [32])
  25. The Blade Ship - (Contains Le Bateau Sabre [33])
  26. Kah-Aniel - (Contains Kah-Aniel [34])
  27. The Scarlet Fire - (Contains Le Feu écarlate [35])
  28. Aniel - (Contains Aniel [36])
  29. The Hermit of Skellingar - (Contains L'Ermite de Skellingar [37])
  30. The Selkie - (Contains La Selkie [38])
  31. Neokora - (Contains Neokóra [39])
  32. Tupilaqs - (Contains Tupilaks [40])

Kriss of Valnor

  1. I Forget Nothing! - (Contains Je n'oublie rien!)
  2. The Valkyries' Judgement - (Contains La sentence des Walkyries)
  3. Worthy of a Queen - (Contains Digne d'une reine)
  4. Alliances - (Contains Alliances)
  5. Red as a Raheborg - (Contains Rouge comme le Raheborg)
  6. The Island of Lost Children - (Contains L'Île des enfants perdus)
  7. The Mountain of Time - (Contains La Montagne du temps)
  8. The Master of Justice - (Contains Le Maître de justice)


  1. Raissa - (Contains Raïssa)
  2. The Severed Hand of the God - (Contains Tyr La Main coupée du dieu Tyr)
  3. The Realm of Chaos - (Contains Le Royaume du chaos)
  4. Crow - (Contains Crow)
  5. Skald - (Contains Skald)
  6. The Queen of the Dark Elves - (Contains La Reine des Alfes noirs)
  7. Nidhogg - (Contains Nidhogg)

The Early Years

  1. The Three Minkelson Sisters - (Contains Les Trois Sœurs Minkelsönn)
  2. Odin's Eye - (Contains L'Œil d'Odin)
  3. Runa - (Contains Runa)
  4. Berserkers - (Contains Berserkers)
  5. Slivia - (Contains Slive)
  6. The Frozen Drakkar - (Contains Le Drakkar des glaces)

Other media [8]

In 2002 Le Lombard published a video game for Microsoft Windows, entitled Thorgal: Curse of Atlantis and developed by Cryo Interactive Entertainment.

In 2016 there is announced that the comic is going to be a series directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. [11] In 2018 von Donnersmarck said that the project is "at the top of his list". [12]

An elaborate and multi-national (physical) board-game was in 2023 under development by Portal Games. A crowd funding drive was organized to finance the development of the game. The popularity of Thorgal was once again amply demonstrated when the crowd funding netted the company nearly nine times the funding goal, which was reached within one-and-a-half hour after the start of the drive. [13]

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  1. 1 2 3 Gaumer, Patrick (1997). Dictionnaire mondial de la BD (in French). [Paris]: Larousse. pp. 614–615. ISBN   203750019X. OCLC   851086497.
  2. "Thorgal". (in Dutch).; includes other language editions.
  3. Chabannes, Jean-Sébastien (June 9, 2014). "Grzegorz Rosinski ("Thorgal") : « On pourrait faire quelque chose avec le Chninkel. »". ActuaBD (in French). Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  4. "Les ventes - Thorgal". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  5. 1 2 Rothschild, D. Aviva (1995). Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-length Comics. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 56–57. ISBN   978-1-56308-086-9.
  6. 1 2 3 "Thorgal - ComicWiki" (in Danish). Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  7. Miaśkiewicz, Waldemar (2007). "Rola pierwszych żon (A review of I, Jolan)". Nowa Fantastyka (in Polish). No. 12. p. 76.
  8. 1 2 These concern series-related publications that fall outside the normal scope of the (main) series, the so-called "besides series" literal translation of the hard-to-translate original French "Para-B(ande)D(essinées)" moniker publications, which typically entail such releases as posters, art portfolios, art books, making-of-books, interview books, et al. In France, non-print series-related publications such as (computer)games, figurines or CD(-Rom)s, are also considered part of Para-BD. ( "Thorgal - Le Para-BD". (in French).)
  9. "Thorgal at Cinebook".
  10. "Thorgal". Europe Comics. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  11. Roxborough, Scott (2016-10-20). "'Lives of Others' Director to Adapt Fantasy Comic 'Thorgal' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  12. Meza, Ed (2018-09-02). "Henckel von Donnersmarck Puts 'Thorgal' TV Series at Top of His List". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  13. "Thorgal: The Board Game". Retrieved 2023-05-01.